Sunday, March 25, 2007

Name, Rank and Serial Number

Captain Ed notes that Iran has blatantly announced it is going to violate the Geneva Conventions, but no one in the press or the human rights community seems to notice.

Iran announced tonight that the 15 British sailors captured off the coast of Iraq would get indicted as spies. ... Referring to them as “insurgents”, the site concluded: “If it is proven that they deliberately entered Iranian territory, they will be charged with espionage. If that is proven, they can expect a very serious penalty since according to Iranian law, espionage is one of the most serious offences.”

But as Captain Ed points out, you can't charge uniformed men on a patrol boat with espionage.

The Iranians cannot try the men for espionage if they captured the sailors in uniform. Article 46 of the Geneva Convention states this clearly:

2. A member of the armed forces of a Party to the conflict who, on behalf of that Party and in territory controlled by an adverse Party, gathers or attempts to gather information shall not be considered as engaging in espionage if, while so acting, he is in the uniform of his armed forces.

By gum, even the Nazis knew that, which is why they landed spies and saboteurs on American beaches in uniform.

Burger, Dasch, Heinck and Quirin traveled from occupied France by submarine to Long Island, New York, landing in the hours of darkness, on or about June 13, 1942. The remaining four boarded another German submarine, which carried them down the Atlantic coast to Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. On or about June 17, 1942, they came ashore during the hours of darkness. All eight wore full or partial German uniforms, to ensure treatment as prisoners of war should they be captured on landing.

Captain Ed asks, "The indictment of British sailors in uniform as spies will violate the GC. Can we expect the same level of outrage over this explicit violation as the supposed violations of the US government?"


No of course not. As currently interpreted the Geneva Conventions only apply to individuals bent on destroying America. Individuals who blow up elementary schools, kidnap children, attack churches and mosques, kill invalids in wheelchairs, plan attacks on skyscrapers in New York, behead journalists, detonate car bombs with children to camouflage their crime, or board jetliners with explosive shoes -- all while wearing mufti or even women's clothing -- these are all considered "freedom fighters" of the most principled kind. They and they alone enjoy the protections of the Geneva Convention. As to Americans like Tucker and Menchaca or Israeli Gilad Shalit -- or these fifteen British sailors for that matter, it is a case of "what Geneva Convention?" We don't need no steenkin' Geneva Convention to try these guys as spies. That's the way the Human Rights racket works. Don't go looking for any Geneva Convention in Somalia, Darfur, Basilan or Iran. Try Guantanamo Bay.


Blogger PeterBoston said...

The only thing that makes sense here is that the powers in Iran did not want Ahminiwhackjob going to NYC and appearing before the UN. The capture of the British sailors is a convenient mini-crisis to justify cancellation of his trip. Perhaps the mullahs suspected that somebody making that trip would defect?

Were I calling the shots for the Brits I would sink a patrolling Iranian submarine or two. Quietly and without pubilc announcement. Although we wouldn't hear about it for another 50 years or so I imagine such an event would create a major confidence crisis in top Iranian circles and start destructive internal recriminations flying around.

Iran is overplaying a weak hand. The mullahs dreams of establishing Iran as a regional hegemon are entirely dependent on maintaining at least the illusion of prestige. I suspect that the Iranian population will play along with the mullahs for so long as they see the possiblility of resurrecting the spectre of ancient Persian glory. Prove the mullahs weak and ineffective and their house of cards comes down around them.

The Palestinians have proven time and time again that there is no amount of egregious behavior from Islamoworld that will get more than passing criticism from the Western press corps.

3/25/2007 04:28:00 AM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said...

The BBC is more concerned about the 50th anniversary of the EU.

3/25/2007 04:37:00 AM  
Blogger summignumi said...

Unless Bush and Tony B. grow a backbone nothing will happen except placation of Iran.

3/25/2007 05:01:00 AM  
Blogger wretchardthecat said...


The 50th anniversary celebrations of the EU have studiously avoided all reference to the EU Constitution, and one must ask why that is.

My own guess is that EU has evolved in one direction, but not in the direction its controlling bureaucrats hoped it would take. Left to order itself organically, the EU would probably create a different agenda and grow different institutions from those implied in the EU Constitution. This is probably because the Europeans, as a people, have far greater common sense than the Eurocrats. We are probably entering an era where the maximization of individual opportunity is more important than state welfare schemes; and where security against asymmetric threats is required more than multiculturalism for European civilization to survive. And the average man on the strasse intuitively understands this when his MPs do not.

Much of what passes for Western progressivism is nothing more than reaction: a kind of mindless attachment to Marxist dogma of the 1960s. And that is why, for example, the Geneva Conventions, which are the subject of this post have become hindrances rather than the helps to civilized warfare.

The original idea of the Geneva Conventions was to provide incentives to conduct civilized or humane warfare, to the extent possible. But today the "progressives" have actually made it a reactionary document by interpreting it to protect those who practice barbarism in war and thereby mindlessly achieving the opposite of its intent.

You see the same mummification afflicting liberals in America. Their Iraq policy makes no sense with the calender reading "2007". But it makes perfect sense if the date is forever stuck at "1969". This ossification is what often sets up revolutions and upheavals and it's possible that the "revolutionaries" will wake up one day to discover they had the roles completely reversed: that it is they who are unconciously defending the walls of their own Bastille.

3/25/2007 05:32:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Three years before 1939:
Freshening up at a youth hostel in 1936, the first year of paid vacations in France.

When the French Parliament democratized leisure in July 1936 by mandating two weeks off annually, it promoted the new law through the government’s Organization of Leisure, circulating photographs of vacationers to magazines and newsreels.
Frenchmen were supposed to look at the pictures and dream.

3/25/2007 05:42:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

(be sure to check out the next one in the series)

3/25/2007 05:46:00 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

On November 4, 1979, Iranian militants stormed the United States Embassy in Tehran and took approximately seventy Americans captive. This terrorist act triggered the most profound crisis of the Carter presidency and began a personal ordeal for Jimmy Carter and the American people that lasted 444 days.

President Carter committed himself to the safe return of the hostages while protecting America's interests and prestige. He pursued a policy of restraint that put a higher value on the lives of the hostages than on American retaliatory power or protecting his own political future.

The toll of patient diplomacy was great, but President Carter's actions brought freedom for the hostages with America's honor preserved.

HAHAHAHAHAA! Omigot! That is funny!

The Jimmy Carter Library on another Iranian hostage crisis

3/25/2007 06:15:00 AM  
Blogger wretchardthecat said...

There's an article at Wikipedia describing the function and historical use of Britain's Cabinet Office Briefing Rooms A or "Cobra" in times of crisis.

Historically, Cobra has been used when there is uncertainty about the seriousness and limits of a current crisis. Once the true magnitude of a crisis has been established and become a more or less ongoing problem, it is apparently managed by a more established institution.

The fact that Blair went to Cobra, while telling us nothing about what he did there, suggests that for some hours at least, the British national command authority wasn't sure whether the abduction of the 15 British sailors was a local incident or part of something more serious.

It says nothing about the cards in Blair's hands but the Cobra clue provides some indication as to the potential stakes. Very interesting. Let's see what happens.

3/25/2007 06:16:00 AM  
Blogger wretchardthecat said...

The other interesting thing about the crisis so far is that Iran has been far more belligerent and insulting than the public behavior of the British would seem to justify.

Not only have they threatened to try the British sailors as spies but they've hidden them. Allowed no consular access.

Consider that Tony Blair did not make a public move from his crisis headquarters -- issued no bloodcurdling threat, didn't expel any Iranians, didn't raise even a symbolic hand against Teheran -- why the dickens should Iran gratuitiously pour gasoline on the fire by threatening to try the sailors as spies and keeping them incommunicado? Britain's not escalating. So why is Iran working itself into this lather?

3/25/2007 06:28:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Already in Tehran.

Interesting First Hand account from Marine Cpl. Christopher Monan

3/25/2007 06:41:00 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

Exclusive to PJM by Richard Miniter, PJM Washington Editor -
American forces in Iraq now hold some 300 prisoners tied to Iran’s intelligence agencies, Pajamas Media learned from both diplomatic and military sources.

The Pentagon received “considerable pressure” from officials in the State department and CIA to release some or all of the Iran-linked prisoners to facilitate discussions between Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Iranian officials. Apparently, Gen. Petraeus sharply disagreed, saying that he intends to hold the prisoners “until they run out of information or we run out of food,” according to our sources who heard these remarks through channels.

Okay, I'm about to face the Persians in a really scary environment, when they have hundreds of thousands of troops, on IMAX! Wish me luck.

3/25/2007 07:31:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

It's going to be difficult to make a case to anyone that doesn't want to hear it, because of the superficial similarity to holding people at Guantanamo Bay. I've understood for years that the Geneva Conventions have been in dire need of an update for the 21st century, whose grey areas are (unintentionally) a playground for asymmetric warfare techniques. Not everyone does.

And a vocal contingent can claim that since we broke them first (by which they really mean, we made people unhappy first) that Iran is perfectly okay doing what they did.

Which, come to think of it, might be part of the drama.

Marcus Vitruvius

3/25/2007 07:47:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Long Debate for the Long War
C.I.A. Awaits Rules on Interrogation of Terror Suspects

WASHINGTON, March 24 — A sharp debate within the Bush administration over the future of the Central Intelligence Agency’s detention and interrogation program has left the agency without the authority to use harsh interrogation techniques that the White House said last fall were necessary in questioning terrorism suspects, according to administration and Congressional officials.

3/25/2007 07:50:00 AM  
Blogger slimslowslider said...

there is a good chance you can say good-bye to the 15 brits. 15 human shields that may be beyond status of hostage. Iran is closing up shop to diplomacey and the "mouse that roared" has probably successfully carried out its radiation experiments and could be transforming into the Hulk in the near future. I pray I am wrong and there is a sea change.

3/25/2007 08:37:00 AM  
Blogger sammy small said...

I can't imagine a situation where 15 U.S. Navy or Marine personnel would be taken captive without firing a shot or calling in help. Too bad that the British sailors were acting in such a manner to allow this to happen. It reminds me of the USS Cole situation, but in an area of supposed combat instead of peacetime port duty.

One must also remember that the Geneva Conventions were the stepchild of the West. I have seen no evidence that other countries abide by them even though they may have been a signatory.

3/25/2007 08:59:00 AM  
Blogger Triton'sPolarTiger said...

"Captain Ed notes that Iran has blatantly announced it is going to violate the Geneva Conventions, but no one in the press or the human rights community seems to notice."

To the suprise of no one here at Triton Central.


Love the sub sinking suggestion - were I serving in your command, I would be delighted to fire the weapon.


3/25/2007 09:09:00 AM  
Blogger Mike H. said...

Who are we going to have to shoot first, our mufsidun or theirs? This started out as a war and morphed into some kind of political dance.

Because of that I would say that the fifteen are dead men and woman walking. Everyone involved are more concerned about the proper steps than their welfare.

3/25/2007 09:22:00 AM  
Blogger Habu said...

I know it must occur to the bloggers on this site since it occurs to me and I'm almost as normal as most of you are.

But we are not dealing with RATIONAL people, nor a culture that even remotely incorporates any western thought.
Yet we attempt to employ a "negotiator", like the trained cop trying to talk the looney from jumping off the high rise roof.

We cannot negotitate with Islam and have it mean ANYTHING. Read their own sharia and Quran. It authorizes any deception in order to beat the infidels, at anything, but especially in attempting to spread Islam. Any method is "fair"

Islams are in our language and understanding sociopaths. Do sociopaths operate within our understanding of acceptable behavior. No. But Islams believe they can stone women to death for being victims of rape...victims, not wilful partners but victims.
Women are chattel and Islams still trade in slavery. T us they are perfect examples of sociopaths.

Islam and Christianity can NEVER be reconciled. The cultural differences and religious differences are too great.

That leaves the world with a choice. One must be dominant and one must be submissive. Current demographic trends point to Islam becoming dominant within our newborns lifetimes. Do we allow this to happen? Do we allow them NBC weapons to accelerate the pace of takeover?
Or while in a position of dominance do we act to decimate their numbers and slow the trend line, and then go about reversing it?

One answer leads to submission, the other to Churchill's broad sunlit uplands. We have a choice NOW, but the window is closing.

For those who wish to argue that this is a false choice please begin by reconciling the religious and cultural differences that have existed for a thousand years. Otherwise you have no argument, for one thing we do know. Certain things are irreconcilable.

3/25/2007 10:12:00 AM  
Blogger 3Case said...

"...the progressives morphed into reactionaries. On some level they must recognize what has happened to them...."

Sadly, no. They are ignorant and seek to outdo each other in their ignorance.

From Webster's Online:

Main Entry: ig·no·rant
Pronunciation: 'ig-n(&-)r&nt
Function: adjective
1 a : destitute of knowledge or education [an ignorant society]; also : lacking knowledge or comprehension of the thing specified [parents ignorant of modern mathematics] b : resulting from or showing lack of knowledge or intelligence [ignorant errors]
- ig·no·rant·ly adverb
- ig·no·rant·ness noun
synonyms IGNORANT, ILLITERATE, UNLETTERED, UNTUTORED, UNLEARNED mean not having knowledge. IGNORANT may imply a general condition or it may apply to lack of knowledge or awareness of a particular thing [an ignorant fool] [ignorant of nuclear physics]. ILLITERATE applies to either an absolute or a relative inability to read and write [much of the population is still illiterate]. UNLETTERED implies ignorance of the knowledge gained by reading [an allusion meaningless to the unlettered]. UNTUTORED may imply lack of schooling in the arts and ways of civilization [strange monuments built by an untutored people]. UNLEARNED suggests ignorance of advanced subjects [poetry not for academics but for the unlearned masses].


3/25/2007 10:16:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

In WWII, a US Marine Major was parachuted into occupied France to work with the French Resistance. Naturally, he wore his uniform during the parachute drop, but than changed into clothing suitable for a French civilian. The Major became legendary among the Germans for his exploits; they named him “The Fox.”

One night The Fox sat in a French café one night as the Germans there drank toast after toast to Hitler, Goering, Himmler, Goebels and so forth. Then he left, changed into his Marine uniform and came back with an overcoat as an outer garment. He sat and drank a few more toasts with the Germans, then stood, took off his overcoat, pulled out his .45 automatic and said “And now, gentlemen, we will drink a toast to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the President of the United States.” The Germans looked down the barrel of the handgun and drank the toast.

So a uniform can be a handy thing for other purposes as well.

But Wretchard, you are missing something. As the Mayor of London says about the suicide bombers, “They can’t send in their attack helicopters, jet fighters or tanks, because they don’t have any.”

And they can’t wear uniforms, either, because they don’t have any. Now as to why they have none of those things - we are not allowed to ask.

3/25/2007 10:43:00 AM  
Blogger JimMtnViewCa said...

and speaking of sub sinkings, I will gladly pay the additional money for gasoline if there were to be "a major accident" in the Iranian oil fields.

3/25/2007 11:33:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rwe: As the Mayor of London says about the suicide bombers, "They can’t send in their attack helicopters, jet fighters or tanks, because they don’t have any."

And that can very nearly be said for most of the western "powers" as well.

3/25/2007 11:35:00 AM  
Blogger Elmondohummus said...


"...why the dickens should Iran gratuitiously pour gasoline on the fire by threatening to try the sailors as spies and keeping them incommunicado? Britain's not escalating. So why is Iran working itself into this lather?"

Because they believe the publicity strengthens their hand. They're well aware that, regardless of their rhetoric, European governments are quite willing to employ force when they feel their self-interest demands it, but they also know equally damn well that those same governments are more willing to kowtow to the elements in society that are impressed with conflict and revolution and back away from such use of force when those societal elements confront them. So if you appear to be standing up to the "Imperialist" governments, no matter how illegal your action is, you will get rewarded as long as you get the word out to your syncopants in the West. They get the dual satisfaction of striking at a Western power and give their admirers in the West fodder for agitation. And all at the same time their nuclear program was being discussed in the UN; it's totally a winning situation all the way around for the Iranians to fan the flames.

3/25/2007 12:22:00 PM  
Blogger al fin said...

The Iranians can't back their play here. They made a major blunder, and the deeper they dig themselves, the worse it will be for them when the hand is called.

Sinking their submarines is not the half of it. Iran is extremely vulnerable to any number of low-risk (to the west) sniping attacks.

The current leadership in Teheran is a pack of fools.

3/25/2007 12:49:00 PM  
Blogger vnjagvet said...

The double standard is alive and well in the international press.

How is the British press treating this?

Any outrage at all?

3/25/2007 01:44:00 PM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said...

Some more for you C-4

3/25/2007 02:43:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Tony, RWE:
North Hollywood junkyard: one giant heap for mankind

Now, after decades of NASA's dominance of spaceflight, private rocketeers are launching their own commercial space industry — and they are flocking to Norton Sales, junkyard of the stars.

The Apollo command module engine goes for $1.5 million.
That J-2 engine for the Saturn V? Yours for $500,000.

A Thor rocket engine costs a relatively modest $75,000.

3/25/2007 03:50:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Blair Says Iran Was ‘Unjustified and Wrong’
Britain’s prime minister said naval personnel were in Iraqi, not Iranian, waters when they were captured.

3/25/2007 03:51:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Al Qaeda's Pakistan Sanctuary
Musharraf appeases the Taliban.

Bill Roggio
Weekly Standard

Creeping Sharia

Pakistan exports the fruit of its radical madrassahs in ideology and personnel to Britain and beyond. The mother country, like an elderly spinster, doesn't like to think ill of those nice young men in Manchester and Leeds and Oldham.
We're all inclined to be deferential to multiculturalism these days: When imams get turfed off a flight in Minneapolis, it's easiest to tut-tut and demand sensitivity training for the cabin crew, so that next time round, no matter what they do, we'll know to look the other way.

The Quebec government, which mandates verifiable picture ID in order to vote, has just waived the requirement for Muslims:
Show up at the polls in a burqa or niqab and no one will be so insensitive as to insist on checking whether your face matches that on the driver's license.

And so it goes:
creeping sharia, day by day, further insulating communities already prone to self-segregation, but nothing too big or startling to ruffle the scene.
In Britain, the authorities can tell you (roughly) the number of jihadist cells and the support they command in the Muslim community.
But doing anything about it is far more problematic.
Wouldn't be cricket, old boy.
© Mark Steyn 2007

3/25/2007 04:33:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Wonder if those Brits were waterboarded, during those interrogations?

Wonder if that'd be extra upsetting to Mr Blair or Mr Bush, if they were?

3/25/2007 05:21:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Mañana, 'Rat:
We have yet to get around to that, so can't tell.

Long Debate for the Long War
C.I.A. Awaits Rules on Interrogation of Terror Suspects

WASHINGTON, March 24 — A sharp debate within the Bush administration over the future of the Central Intelligence Agency’s detention and interrogation program has left the agency without the authority to use harsh interrogation techniques that the White House said last fall were necessary in questioning terrorism suspects, according to administration and Congressional officials.

3/25/2007 05:50:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

It IS Good that the Geneva Convention kept the Insurgents from using gas attacks on the population.

3/25/2007 05:51:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

...until recently, at least.

3/25/2007 05:52:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Things have improved:
Now we readily admit it, and jail our warriors.

3/25/2007 06:10:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Hey Doug,

Thanks for the link, what a fascinating place! I think if I had money to burn, I'd prefer a P-51 Mustang or an F-4 Phantom - that could still fly!

This week's AWST is worth going to the library to read - it celebrates the upcoming 50th Anniversary of Spaceflight, with lots of historic leading up the present. I'd say it's worth the $12 cover price (dbl-issue), if you could ever find it anywhere.

First 50 Years of Spaceflight Mirrored Humanity''s Best and Worst

Check this - wouldn't you like to be a "space buff" like this?

Space Buffs Restore Historic Satellite Dish
Aviation Week & Space Technology
03/19/2007, page 31

Edited by Frank Morring, Jr.

Printed headline: Dish Development

The chance reading of a for-sale ad in the Carmel, Calif., Pine Cone newspaper has launched a group of 30 space-history buffs on a mission to save the 30-meter Jamesburg AT&T/Comsat satellite dish about an hour from Monterey, Calif. The dish was built in 1968 to support the Apollo 11 Moon landing in '69. It also played a role in capturing and distributing images of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests in Beijing, says Pat Barthelow, a Sacramento avionics technician who saw the ad and spread the word. The group worked over the past four months to get the dish running. The 10-story-high dish is housed in a 20,000-sq.-ft. building, both of which are in excellent shape, says Barthelow. But the restorers were cautious about operating its huge drive mechanism until they understood the computer code of its Vertex-RSI 7210 drive system. Now that they do, they use their own Moon-tracking PC software to command the Vertex. Late last month they bounced 20 radio signals off the Moon. The dish sits on a 160-acre site subdivided for residential sale, so the restorers feel some urgency to try preserving it. They'd like to see it returned to service, or turned into a space camp for students.


Btw, I was just watching some lib on TV saying the best response to the Iranian kidnapping of the Brit troops is for the US and Iran to "have one on one talk about oil...."

As expected. After the UN Security Council is told to go pound sand, then it's our turn. Genius.

3/25/2007 06:41:00 PM  
Blogger wretchardthecat said...

The Independent quotes US Naval sources as saying American rules of engagement are different and that the sailors would have been obliged to defend themselves in that situation.

The executive officer - second-in-command on USS Underwood, the frigate working in the British-controlled task force with HMS Cornwall - said: "The unique US Navy rules of engagement say we not only have a right to self-defense but also an obligation to self-defense.

Now the British Marines and sailors were true to their instructions, and however it may have galled them, did their duty and complied with their own ROEs.

Al Reasin noted that during the Cold War, American soldiers were under very restrictive rules of engagement, which made sense in a superpower rivalry context which could escalate into a land war in Europe or a nuclear exchange. But where one is fighting a terrorist-type limited war, where kidnappings and car bombs are the modes of combat, do such ROEs make sense?

Today, many checkpoints are signposted to leave no doubt that deadly force will be used up ahead. But once those signposts have been ignored and a possible VBIED comes barrelling in then people today are more aggressive than they would have been say, to a Russian vehicle during the Cold War.

The characteristic of these snatch operations is that the prospects of recovery diminish with every passing minute, as I noticed in my first post on the subject. If you don't get them back right away then maybe you never get them back at all. Or get them back only after a prolonged and difficult negotiation. My guess is that Tony Blair is now past the Golden Moment. We'll never know now, but maybe if HMS Cornwall had acted then the Iranians would have backed off seeking another day, another prey. Who knows?

But at any rate, the game has now changed to a long-duration contest. It's now political. As time passes, Tony Blair may become progressively captive to this issue in the way that Jimmy Carter was. One can almost imagine George Galloway to be packing his bags to negotiate, reprising the role of Ramsey Clark or Jesse Jackson, the one buffoon imitating the other.

If this is to be avoided, the British have to find some way of bringing unbearable pressure to bear very rapidly while providing the Iranians with a climbdown avenue. I have no idea whether such an option is available.

3/25/2007 06:49:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Steve, at Threatswatch (USMC Ret as some remember him here) says:

"From the outset, the Iranian nuclear crisis has been little more than, as any good Marine would say, a Dog & Pony Show. It has been reduced to a traveling circus on the New York–Vienna–Natanz circuit. Meanwhile, the intelligence (or, in the newly imposed intelligence standard, ‘evidence’) on Iran’s terrorism and sponsored acts of terrorism collects dust.

If you can’t be bothered with state-sponsored terrorism and want to consume yourself with an immediate nuclear crisis, took a good hard look at Pakistan. Please..
Threat Perception and Risk Inversion

3/25/2007 06:53:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Great stuff about that Dish, Tony.
I'll have to tell my Doctor about it, he has a place in Big Sur, and will be interested when he goes there.
You remind me that I told him I'd find info for him on the retrival of the USN Macon, a dirigible complete w/biplanes (!) right off the coast at Nepenthe.

3/25/2007 07:00:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

" Macon made a long-distance flight over the Pacific Ocean in mid-July to intercept the cruiser Houston (CA-30), which was carrying President Franklin D. Roosevelt from Panama to Hawaii. During this mission her F9C "Sparrowhawk" aircraft were operated with their wheeled landing gear removed, a performance-enhancing practice that was thereafter normal when these small fighting planes were embarked on the airship."

3/25/2007 07:03:00 PM  
Blogger Db2m said...

"Late last month they bounced 20 radio signals off the Moon."


Space junkies successfully execute 20 Moon bats.

3/25/2007 07:13:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Space Monkeys?

3/25/2007 07:20:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Wretchard asks: Why the dickens should Iran gratuitiously pour gasoline on the fire by threatening to try the sailors as spies and keeping them incommunicado?

And here is your answer: "U.S. crude futures extended gains towards $63 on Monday on the back of heightened tensions between Iran and the West."

(h/t: Sam)

3/25/2007 07:25:00 PM  
Blogger Brother D-Day said...

Screw Europe and the UN.

The sooner they become islamic slave-sates, the sooner we can get on to business.

3/25/2007 07:36:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Are you blaming the British Sailors for OUR fuel prices Mat?

3/25/2007 07:43:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...


No. Just Bush. ;)

3/25/2007 08:05:00 PM  
Blogger Mike H. said...

The previous Iranian attempt

3/25/2007 08:51:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...


The mistake we keep making is that we look for others to change, when it is us that should change.

3/25/2007 08:51:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Damn, that's begining to sound like a broken record!
You should publish Mat's Warfighting Manual for Civilians!

3/25/2007 09:20:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

k doug, forget the pina colada; how bout some chi chi?

3/25/2007 09:33:00 PM  
Blogger Andrew Graff said...

"Consider that Tony Blair did not make a public move from his crisis headquarters -- issued no bloodcurdling threat, didn't expel any Iranians, didn't raise even a symbolic hand against Teheran -- why the dickens should Iran gratuitiously pour gasoline on the fire by threatening to try the sailors as spies and keeping them incommunicado? Britain's not escalating. So why is Iran working itself into this lather?"

Lather? Iran isn't working itself into a lather, unless you mean that they are drolling over the prospects of humiliating the two most powerful countries on the Earth. The Iranians may be nuts, but you must not assume that means that they are irrational or stupid. This is a coldly calculated move and its quite likely to achieve its desired results. Iran is escalating the conflict because it believes that if it presents a strong hand, that the UK will not call its bluff. Iran's goal is quite obvious. It intends to blackmail the UK into asking the US to grant concessions to Iran in exchange for a peaceful resolution of the conflict. Notably, it would like the US to stop pressuring the UN to back its own resolutions condemning Iran, it would like the US to release the Iranian agents the US has captured in Iraq, it would like the US to stop bribing the USSR into reducing its weapon trading with Iran, it would like the US to stop harassing its allies in Iraq, and it would like the US to stop doing its best to discourage foreign investment and undermine the Iranian economy. This is a very calculated and clearly premeditated move against what Iran percieves as the weaker and more easily bullied partner in the anglo-alliance.

If Iran can get any sort of concession from the US, particularly to get the US to release those Iranians being held because they were giving material aid and training to insurgents in Iraq, then Iran will get a double victory - both its people back and a public humiliation of 'the Great Satan' the like of which it hasn't managed since the Hostage Crisis back in the '70s. If Iran can gets its trainers, explosive experts, communications experts and so forth back from Iraq, then its essentially a carte blanche invitation to continue supplying the insurgents in Iraq with command detonated mines, cell phones, explosives training, and so forth without interferance. And if that's the case, Iran can be sure that the experiment in Iraq will fail, which is yet another public humiliation of the US.

3/25/2007 09:56:00 PM  
Blogger brough said...

this story has been buried on the BBC's 'Today' (which sets the bbc domestic news agenda for the next 24hrs -- indeed other broadcasters look to Today for their lead).

Think it was the fifth or sixth story in the opening news summary. 20 minutes in and *no* other mention of the Iranian capture of 15 servicemen -- they're currently discussing "".

The murder of the Pakistani cricket coach has actually dominated UK media for the last four days.

no 'outrage' here.

"Fewer song birds visited our gardens this winter... we'll be hearing from the man from the RSPB in a moment..."

god save us.

3/25/2007 10:18:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Good lord, Brough, that's been BBC's modus since day 1 hasn't it?

Methinks the Dhimmification of the West is quite far along.
(would corruption by Saudi $ qualify for Dhimmi Status, or would that be classified as plain old corruption?)

See no evil.

3/26/2007 12:14:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Seem to recall quite a bit of head-burying after the Cole was attacked also.
No Problems here, were fine.

3/26/2007 12:16:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Iwannajihad has seen enough weakness, capitulation, and denial from the West that he would be a fool not to go for the full Monty.

Esp when he is in such a weak position on the fundamentals at home, from the economy, oil, to the disapproval of much of the populace.

3/26/2007 12:24:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

It's not like the French are gonna launch waves of attacks from the Charles de Gaulle at any moment to support their "allies," the Brits!

3/26/2007 12:27:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Clinton was the rainmaker who introduced the emir to his friend and employer, Ron Berkle, the owner of Yucaipa companies and a major fund-raiser for Bill and Hillary.

Last year, Yucaipa and the emir formed a new company, DIGL, for their joint ventures. So Bill Clinton is now an adviser and member of the board of directors of a company that is in partnership with the anti-Israeli government of Dubai.

The Clintons won't reveal how much the former president pocketed for setting up this deal, except to report on Hillary's Senate disclosure form: "more than $1,000."

A lot more. According to San Francisco Examiner columnist P.J. Corkery, Clinton makes $10 million a year from Yucaipa.
(and we think MEXICO is corrupt!)

Bill isn't alone in legitimizing Dubai. Other Clinton pals - including disgraced former National Security Adviser Sandy Berger, ex-Secretary of State Madeline Albright and Al and Tipper Gore - have attended highly publicized events there.

Republican ex-Sen. Bob Dole and Democratic ex-Rep. Tom Downey lobby for Dubai; so does The Glover Park Group, home of Hillary Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson and former President Clinton press secretary Joe Lockhart.

3/26/2007 12:54:00 AM  
Blogger Kat said...

Well, Pajama Media has a report saying the kidnappings were planned a week in advance.

This is can be in response to numerous issues but the big one was the vote on the UN sanctions.

Many are pointing to the US picking up Al Qods operatives (up to 300 estimated) in Iraq.

That may be so, but the big picture is the economic sanctions that Iran can barely sustain. Recent reports indicate that inflation is running rampant, oil revenues, even at their highest, cannot offset expenditures. Not only are 70% of the population receivng some sort of stipend, but 40% or more of the population work for the "government" in some form or another, whether in direct government agencies or in industries controlled by the government. Further, in a bid to win the populace vote, Ahmanejid promised unprecedented monies to depressed regions.

IN effect, the UN sanctions were much more important in regards to the Iranian economy than the entire Nuclear question (as much as the Iranians were hoping to use this as blackmail to gain economic incentives like the North Koreans).

The nuclear issue is dangerous in terms of international security, but it is really a propaganda tool to motivate the entire populace through their imagination of a "future" in joining other technologically advanced nations. To be bigger than they are.

The Iranians must greatly fear the infiltration of their nation of true liberal democracy and the economic adventures that follow it. We are talking about collapse of the regime through the economy, as seen with the collapse of the Soviet Union.

That collapse was not simply orchestrated through a build up of arms that the soviets could not financially match. It was not simply a matter of a status economic structure destroyed by the competition of American capitalism in the broader global economy and trade scene.

The final collapse came when Soviet inflation was out of control (Iran is suffering 16% or greater quarterly inflation), simple goods for food and hygiene became scarce and the black market took the place of normal soviet market. Further, that black market trafficked in American goods and American dollars, effectively crashing the Russian rubel and draining the Soviet government of nearly all their operating capital.

Since 50% of Iranian revenues are from oil (possibly more but Iranian reporting is probably rigged to lesson their exposure as is the Russian reports) and 70% of that is from exports. With the price of oil falling from over $70/barrel to $53/barrel, that is an estimated loss of over $13 billion annually (after production costs). When their annual budget is reported at appx 163 billion (not including hidden expenditures of ongoing operations like Hezbollah and many others), that's nearly 10% of their budget. Since their Islamic constitution does not allow for them to "borrow" on credit with interest in the sense that we understand it. instead, they accept advance payment for oil revenues - something that they have done for up to 10 years in advance. Many oil companies are starting to bulk at these advances.

That is leading depression and that is a crash.

I think it is telling that a recent reports have the South Lebanese complaining about the lack of services and compensation promised by hezbollah after the the brief conflict last year with Israel.

It's obvious that Iran is in a very bad economic situation and that they are having to slow or cut off payments to their other "ventures".

It is not simply that the US has picked up Iranian agents in Iraq. This is about Iran and its tenuous economic situation.

They are playing serious hardball.

One push via smuggled black market goods and US dollars, the Iranian dinar will be worth spit and so would the regime.

3/26/2007 01:22:00 AM  
Blogger Karridine said...

"The mistake we keep making is that we look for others to change, when it is us that should change."

Spot on, Methuselah!

Only I have the ABILITY to RESPOND to the challenges I experience in my life: I have RESPONSE-ABILITY for MY LIFE!

Would that I had the Nuke Codes for Trident commanders...

3/26/2007 01:25:00 AM  
Blogger Karridine said...

Kat, Concur Yr Analysis.

'It's obvious that Iran is in a very bad economic situation and that they are having to slow or cut off payments to their other "ventures".'

Add to this the recent revelations that 1 in 4 adults has a drug-dependency; add to this the increasingly desperate need for real investment in the oil production technology (which investment has been MISSING for years, now!) and the widespread Iranian prostitution problemS, and a very sick, very bleak picture emerges of Iran today.

And Iran's mullahs think rejecting the Glory of God, Baha'u'llah, has NOTHING TO DO with their current predicament!

3/26/2007 01:33:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Karridine said...
I experience in my life: I have RESPONSE-ABILITY for MY LIFE!
The Nut that old man Mat whoever he is left out:
"Would that I had the Nuke Codes for Trident commanders... "

Bush does, we don't!
(the majority cheer in relief!)

3/26/2007 02:04:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"The nuclear issue is dangerous in terms of international security, but it is really a propaganda tool to motivate the entire populace through their imagination of a "future" in joining other technologically advanced nations. To be bigger than they are. "
My Roggio link above,
"Threat Perception and Risk Inversion"

refers to the misguided concern about Iranian Nukes that don't exist, while ignoring to a large extent Paki-Nukes that do, while at the same time not paying proper respect for the 30 year plus record Iran has established in exporting terror and Islamic Revolution.

3/26/2007 02:14:00 AM  
Blogger brough said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3/26/2007 03:17:00 AM  
Blogger brough said...

BBC coverage is pretty uneven, there have been some excellent reports from Baghdad recently, mostly for BBC radio.

On the day of the abductions I'm pretty sure Today led with the British claims that Iran had Baswari insurgents on $500/month retainers (obviously before the other news broke).

A report last week on the 4yr anniversary began with the reporter juxtaposing two Baghdad dawn 'soundscapes': the first was a recording of dawn immediately after the war (punctuated with plenty of explosions), the second, recorded the morning of the report, featured the rumble of US helicopters--reverberating over a dawn chorus.

3/26/2007 03:18:00 AM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said...

Indulge me one more point.

Where is the Iraqi Governmental protest to Iran over the snatch? No. Nothing... a little murmurs perhaps? Not from our purple-fingered ass-stabbing Iraqi friends.

3/26/2007 04:14:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

As it is with anything else that might cum in handy.

3/26/2007 06:33:00 AM  
Blogger 3Case said...

Anybody heard from Human Rights Watch or Amnesty International on this?

3/26/2007 07:04:00 AM  
Blogger Tarnsman said...

Its high time that the British, and Americans, "Cry Havoc! and let slip the dogs of war" with the Iranians. And I mean in the original meaning of that phrase:

"The military order Havoc! was a signal given to the English military forces in the Middle Ages to direct the soldiery (in Shakespeare's parlance 'the dogs of war') to pillage and chaos."

Time to show the Islamic world was war the Western way is really like.

3/26/2007 08:34:00 AM  
Blogger JGreer said...

I am thinking this is the equivalent of early-hand poker bluff. They can gauge the stomach of the British govt by their reaction. If the govt is serious and look like they're going to put up a true fight, Iran can always fold before things get out of hand. However, if all that the Brits can manage are strongly worded protests, then the Iranians have scored a huge PR victory, the Brits looks impotent and Iran all the more powerful. They can then move forward with even more audacious efforts in an attempt to push back the Western envelope surrounding them.

Iran IS a rational actor. Don't buy into the image they are trying to project.

3/26/2007 08:42:00 AM  
Blogger exhelodrvr1 said...

I wouldn't be quite so quick to criticize the UK troops for not resisting. While they certainly would have been justified in doing so (assuming, of course, that they were not inside Iranian waters) the two nations were not at a state-of-war. At this point I think the benefit of the doubt should be given to those on the scene. Military responses are not always the best answer to military provocations.

3/26/2007 08:49:00 AM  
Blogger exhelodrvr1 said...

You are probably correct. I seriously doubt that the local Iranian commander would take action like that without permission from Tehran.

3/26/2007 09:18:00 AM  
Blogger Jim in Texas said...

Could the kidnappings be the opening shot in a bid to get back some of the (apparently)Iranian defector? Maybe some of those went to Britain?

3/26/2007 09:31:00 AM  
Blogger Karridine said...

Doug, I hear you, 5 by...

Thinking rationally for a moment, I recall MANY times in my life when just thinking about the sheer volume of pertinent intel about this problem (or that, or these or those) brought to the Oval Office was enough to sway me from EVER wanting to run for or assume such daunting response ability...

3/26/2007 09:32:00 AM  
Blogger Brendan said...

Maybe they were willing to risk the "international blackalash" in order to get some intelligence on how are military would react. In preparations for the big blokade their nukes are bringing.

Also any sanction brought by the US or UK now, happens before the UNSC sanctions... a very intriguing calculus is going on.

3/26/2007 09:34:00 AM  
Blogger Escort81 said...

Regarding the ROE question, exhelodrvr is close to the mark: see this interview with Sir Alan West, First Sea Lord in 2004, the time of the last such incident (the interview is dated 3/24/07 on BBC).

Evidently, U.S. forces operating in the northern PG have different ROEs and would not have stood down. Perhaps the Pasdaran knew that and were looking to go after U.K. forces for that reason.

3/26/2007 10:26:00 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

Good news on the hostage situation - there are no hostages. This is just a Bush hoax to get us into war with Iran.

According to Rosie O'Donnell:
"But interesting with the British sailors, there were 15 British sailors and Marines who apparently went into Iranian waters and they were seized by the Iranians. And I have one thing to say: Gulf of Tonkin, Google it. Okay."

Unfortunately, a lot of Americans will consider this to be true.

Of course, those who do consider it to be true will have no idea what the "Gulf of Tonkin" refers to, and if they do Google it, the top Wiki hit has way too many words for them, and none of the words are "Bush sucks" so they'll be confused why Rosie sent them there.

3/26/2007 12:10:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

But at least you, me, Harry Truman, and our dads would not have taken MILLIONS from our enemies, the fascist scum barbarians.
More than any recent residents can claim.

3/26/2007 12:13:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

But the "chain of custody" will not be sufficiently robust to claim that the GOVERNMENT of Iran has ever engaged in any nefarious, much less terroristic, activities.

Many are the "conservative" commenters on these threads that spout that BS.

...easier to just say Ledeen is nuts, and continue to follow our patriotic rulers as they rake in Millions from the Fascists, and demolish our borders at home.

3/26/2007 12:19:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

But just because ten million morons claim Bush Sucks is not not proof that he doesn't!

3/26/2007 12:24:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Bobal linked this great Babbin Human Events Article piece that includes our beloved Skunk Works!

3/26/2007 12:33:00 PM  
Blogger Mike H. said...

The question has been asked , why do the Iranians do it? Because they can.

Achmedinejad is in charge because he was put there. (Strong horse and all that.) Check with the Democrats.

3/26/2007 12:40:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Karridine and Doug Hijack a B-52 in their Quest to save the World for Humanity

3/26/2007 12:40:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...


Nice article. EMP's, huh? AWST is hinting that the new AESA radar can do that trick, just sneak in a few of the new F-22's that are now active....

Still, the best would be what I saw one afternoon, the way the Shah did it - a flight of 4 F-4 Phantoms roaring low in loose formation over downtown Tehran, rumbling the dust with their thunder, turning the sky black with their oily dual exhaust trails.

That would clench them up some. I know it worked on me that day. And I was on their side!

3/26/2007 12:56:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

We had some Top Guns from Tulare NAS that would fly through our narrow coastal canyon to terrorize us farmers!
Talk about loud!

3/26/2007 01:11:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Our neighbor, born and raised in the canyon, (walked to the one room schoolhouse) had six kids, all radically different.
(One lived in Iran!)
One son was an AF Pilot, so he'd buzz home occasionally, also.

3/26/2007 01:16:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I recently read some of the F-14's records:
Truly amazing for the time.
Didn't it get to 98,000 or so?
(now I "gotta" look it up)

3/26/2007 01:19:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"In the space of about twenty-eight months since its introduction, the F-4 had established 15 world aviation records including altitude (98,500 ft), time-to-climb and speed (Mach 2.59). These factors coupled with a demonstrated capability to lift a load of up to 22,000 lbs convinced the Air Force to procure the aircraft whose performance qualities were as good or better than their best fighters"
HOW did they do that w/34,000lb of thrust?

3/26/2007 01:24:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Old Nostrilitus would never notice the distraction:
He'd have his proboscus pointed skyward, performing snorkle duty.

3/26/2007 01:25:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I met a guy that had 300 or so landings in the F3H Demon.
Hard to believe they developed the Phantom as the next step.

3/26/2007 01:32:00 PM  
Blogger exhelodrvr1 said...

"HOW did they do that w/34,000lb of thrust?"

Do what?

3/26/2007 01:34:00 PM  
Blogger Featherless Biped said...

The seizure has "Oriental culture" written all over it:

A) Saving face on the Tehran 6 o'clock news
B) Psych. warfare on Bush & Blair (distraction)
C) Bargaining chips/human shields

3/26/2007 01:36:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

98,550 ft and Mach 2.59.
Seems pretty high!

...I remember Chuck Yeager almost buying the farm when he took a 104 up there with a rocket assist, and the thing went out of control.
Was that the time his ejection seat propellant got stuck in his helmet?

3/26/2007 01:57:00 PM  
Blogger exhelodrvr1 said...

Who cares? It couldn't hover worth a damn!

3/26/2007 02:03:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

It would climb straight up tho!

3/26/2007 02:09:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Click here to own a piece of Yeager's NF-104A

3/26/2007 02:10:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Gene E. Burton Memoirs

3/26/2007 02:26:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...


No rotary wing gives you the feeling that
looking up at four of these not far over your head does.

3/26/2007 02:30:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

When one of our bombers went down, we usually lost eight or ten men - killed or captured. When we lost thirty bombers in a day, we lost about 300 trained men. Defense officials contended that we simply could not continue absorbing such losses much longer.

The Colonel said that Dutch rose and asked permission to address the group. Dutch reached into a trash can an pulled out an empty lunch sack, flattened it, and drew on it a sketch of the P-51 Mustang that his designer, Lee Atwood, wanted to build. On the sketch, the drew in a new concept - external wing-tip fuel tanks that would extend the range of the fighters to provide bomber cover for a complete mission and which could be jettisoned before going into combat with German figthers. He said that the plane would utilize the latest Rolls-Royce engine and be the fastet, most manuverable fighter in the world. The Defense officials responded that they knew about Atwood's new design concept, but they couldn't wait for the two or three years that it would take to build, test, and develop a new fighter aircraft. They contended that, at the current rate of losses, day-light bombing in Europe could not go on for more than four months. Dutch then turned to President Roosevelt and promised him that he could build the prototype and fly it in thirty days and deliver a combat squadron to Great Britain in four months. Of course everyone in the room was dumbfounded! Dutch was highly respected, but the experts insisted a new fighter could not be built in a month, let alone a squadron of them delivered in just four months - it was impossible. Dutch reportedly replied, "Mr. President, you have my personal promise that my people can do this. Don't end day-light bombing for four months, at which time my Mustang will turn the war around." Roosevelt was so taken with Dutch's confidence that he did indeed give Dutch the go-ahead and instructed the Defense officials to continue the day-light bombing of Hitler's war machine.

They shot down 70 on the first day, and turned the war around!
...memoirs link above.

3/26/2007 03:24:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Hey Fred,

Welcome back. Your comments about Bush's situation now reminded me of what happened to Reagan around this time in his second term. That was when a Democratic Congress criminalized fighting Communism in Central America, actually criminalzed fighting the Cold War, in general.

You try to do hard things, you get beat up. Take the Clinton approach, and as the 9/11 Report details - you don't do anything too crazy that you might get blamed for (like attacking an enemy called Al Qaeda in Afghanistan that has declared war on you), and you do okay in the contemporaneous popularity ratings. (Good luck in history, don't expect "Clinton" to be mentioned in the same passages as "Leonidas" or "Themistocles.")"

After Clinton, we got 9/11. After Reagan, we got the end of the Cold War. After Bush, we'll see what we get ... but after Clinton, we know what NOT FIGHTING BACK got us.

As for world opinion and the Iranians - what the hell, they just conducted a proxy war against Israel last year right out in the open - and THAT didn't hurt their world opinion status.

Taking 15 hostages kinda pales in comparison to shooting thousands of missiles at Israel over a continuous, 33 day "war."

These guys have been getting away with murder forever.

3/26/2007 06:05:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Thanks for writing Fred.
The Old Man is having another birthday, which is no big deal, but the son is over, and that's a rare occasion, so I'll get back to you later.

Got a couple of links to pass by you to see if you've seen them.

3/26/2007 08:47:00 PM  
Blogger brough said...

Name, Rank and Serial Number

-- evidently, she bunked off class for a quick fag behind the bike shed and missed that lecture.

The Marines are no better munching down their egg and chips on camera.

3/28/2007 01:22:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Here's some links re:
Our problems on the homefront.

'MS-13' is one of nation's most dangerous gangs
In-depth look its members, enemies and its threat to our national security

Commerce chief pushes for 'North American integration'

While the Bush administration insists the controversial Security and Prosperity Partnership is just a dialogue with Canada and Mexico, a State Department cable released to WND shows Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez pressing to implement major trilateral initiatives to help "capture the vision of North American integration."

"By leading with economics, SPP is crafting a North American regulatory structure that transforms U.S. regulations by 'harmonizing' them with Mexican and Canadian regulations, all without specific congressional approval," said Phillips, chairman of the Conservative Caucus.

The cable notes Gutierrez opened the discussion by stressing that the July 23, 2005, "Report to Leaders" needed "to show results" that would be "enduring and create an on-going process."

"Why do you tolerate being treated like a child or idiot by your government?"


Illegal aliens murder12 Americans daily
Most Americans have no idea more of their fellow citizens – men, women and children – were murdered this year by illegal aliens ...
(then there's the 10's of thousands killed on the highways by unlicensed illegals. Some to make a profit.)


Anarchy on our borders


Anger in an Immigrants' Town


Hazleton, Pennsylvania, hard coal country in immigration debate.

3/28/2007 02:18:00 PM  

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